They say it has the heart of a rebel, and the soul of a gentleman. “It” is the Brabus 1300R, the first collaboration in the motorcycle world for the famed German car tuner, based on the KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo, already a 180 hp beast of a V-twin wheelie machine.
Brabus, of course, is most renowned on the high-end Mercedes scene, taking your G-Wagon, for example, and repackaging it with more oomph than Usain Bolt and extra-special sprinklings of The Dark Knight’s design dust, in what they call their signature “Black and Bold” aesthetic.
Having chased one of these super-G’s along the Dalmatian coast in a Lamborghini Huracán indicating north of 170 mph on the speedo, I can confirm that they definitely know how to breathe on things to make them go faster and look meaner.
This sort of toy seems to appeal to a particular type of customer, who will pay a major premium, as long as it comes in black, goes ridiculously fast, and is a limited edition. The same sort whose wrist, clad in a solid gold Hublot Big Bang, lolls out the driver’s side window as he blows by you on the PCH. So why not replicate the experience for those who prefer to get their thrills on the back of a two-wheeled beast?
Sometimes collaborations of this nature can be like putting lipstick on a pig. It really depends on the quality of the engineering underneath, and the aftermarket specialist parts swapped out to enhance looks, performance, or both. In this case the underpinnings of the bike which govern its mechanical performance remain more or less unadulterated, with Brabus focusing on enhancing the aesthetics and luxury details.
Such highlight features and bespoke Brabus parts include a blacked-out frame, forged monoblock nine-spoke wheels, a slip-on double-pipe exhaust, a custom-made heated seat, air ducts, a headlight mask, a carbon fiber belly pan, triple clamps, adjustable brake and clutch levers, custom foot peddles, reservoir and oil tank caps, handlebar end mirrors, and other delights all either in carbon or CNC machined to specification.
The stock KTM bike spec already includes more power and torque than you can shake a stick at, along with such technical wizardry as APEX semi-active suspension, so you can guarantee this thing moves like a bat out of hell straight out of the crate—and with all the menacing Brabus parts and extra-loud exhaust, will scare the bejesus out of small children and animals within a half-mile radius.
The standard KTM 1300 Super Duke R Evo costs $19,599 and the Brabus version a rather punchier $46,800. They are only building 77 of each color (Magma Red and Signature Black), in celebration of the birth-year of the Brabus brand in 1977; and of course, they’re already pre-sold, so if you prefer this monster to the Ducati Diavel AMG or Triumph Rocket 3R, you’re gonna have to wait for the next iteration. Which we suspect may come in black.